OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. That's why early detection and regular screenings are so important.
In recent weeks we've been stressing the importance of getting regular screenings for colorectal cancer. One coast patient learned the hard way that putting off regular screenings can have life threatening consequences.
At 79, Ed Adams is fighting liver cancer, which started in his colon and spread to his liver. He's already had surgery and is about to start chemotherapy.
"It's something we've got to do, but this is a fight we'll win," Adams said optimistically.
He was diagnosed earlier this year after having a colonoscopy. It's a test he said he used to get regularly, but had put off in recent years.
"My natural reaction was if I had been doing what I should have been doing, I wouldn't have it. But hindsight is 20/20."
Adams said he wasn't having any symptoms when he finally had the colonoscopy. His wife, Carrie, just convinced him he shouldn't put it off any longer.
"I've always been healthy as a horse, had no symptoms at all."
Ed believes if he hadn't put off getting his regular colonoscopies, doctors would have caught the disease before it spread to his liver. His advice to others who might put off the test?
"Don't do it. I'm very lucky, I've got three great sons, and a wonderful daughter, and ten grandchildren. And if ever someone had something to live for, I do."
Ed knows he has a tough battle ahead of him, but he's maintaining a positive outlook.
"I'm a born optimist," Adams said with a smile.